Geshe Ngawang Wangyal: America’s First Pioneering Buddhist Lama

Oct 15, 2018 | Views: 793

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Geshe Ngawang Wangyal (1901 – 1983) led an incredible life. His story is all the more inspiring not because he had a comfortable life or an impressive title, but because he persevered in his spiritual journey despite the challenges he faced.

Born in Russia, Geshe Wangyal received his monastic education in both Russia and Tibet. He worked as a guide, translator and, at one time, even worked for the CIA’s Tibet Task Force.

Geshe Wangyal persevered to become the first lama to play a pivotal role in introducing Tibetan Buddhism to the West. He was also the one who brought His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the United States.

 

Early Life

Geshe Wangyal, a Kalmyk (Mongolian), was born Lidjiin Keerab on October 15, 1901 in the Astrakhan Province of south-eastern Russia, to Leiji and his wife Bolgan. His father, Leiji, passed away when he was less than one year old. His mother took him to a temple, where she had the following conversation with her son:

Mother: Buddha is a special being to whom we bow and pray. He will bless you when you bow down and pray, you must do so for the sake of all living beings.

Geshe Wangyal: If I pray for others, how will I get what I want?

Mother: By helping others your own aims will be achieved incidentally.

Source: Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, The Door of Liberation: Essential Teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, p. xiv

Geshe Wangyal was the youngest of four siblings. Gunsang, one of his brothers who was eight years older than him, was a monk. His family often praised Gunsang for his choice, and this inspired the young boy to be ordained too. At the age of six, he entered a local monastery where his elder brother, Gunsang was a resident monk. From then on, Gunsang became responsible for his brother’s education. Gunsang was a good teacher. The young Geshe Wangyal was immediately assigned to learn the Tibetan language and memorise many Tibetan texts, and he excelled in whatever learning tasks that were assigned to him.

When he was 16 years old, Geshe Wangyal entered a medical school. His teacher was very proud of him due to his intelligence and thirst for knowledge; Geshe Wangyal was able to study a two-year curriculum within one year. However, the young teenager lost interest in medical studies after his teacher passed away at the end of the year.

Lama Agvan Dorjiev was Geshe Wangyal’s teacher

Lama Agvan Dorjiev was Geshe Wangyal’s teacher

Around this time, he met his root teacher, Lama Agvan Dorjiev, a famed diplomat and a debate partner of His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama. Although Lama Dorjiev was very much involved with the political situation at the time, he remained committed to promoting the Tibetan Buddhist studies of the Yellow Hat (Gelug) tradition in Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Mongolia. Geshe Wangyal entered a monastic college that Lama Agvan Dorjiev had established in Kalmykia, and also received his main initiations and vows from Lama Agvan Dorjiev.

One summer, the teenage Geshe Wangyal contracted typhoid. His condition was so dire that his fellow monks lost all hope for his recovery. His mother came to the monastery to take care of him. She sucked the phlegm and pus out of his lungs and throat to prevent him from suffocating. When Geshe Wangyal regained consciousness, he found out that his mother had contracted typhoid through her efforts to save him and passed away on the same day that he recovered.

Geshe Wangyal was devastated by his mother’s death and tremendous sacrifice. At the same time, he was overwhelmed by a sense of thirst after his fever. He was appalled by this sense of selfishness and became determined to dedicate his life to liberate himself and others from such self-centred impulses. Throughout his life, Geshe Wangyal always spoke lovingly of his mother and said that he had never encountered such unconditional compassion in his life.

Lhasa in the 1920s

Lhasa in the 1920s

Lama Agvan Dorjiev recognised Geshe Wangyal’s intelligence and passion for Buddhist studies. He predicted that Geshe Wangyal would be able to complete a Geshe (Doctorate in Buddhism) curriculum at the Gelugpa monastic universities in Tibet, and helped him to travel there. Geshe Wangyal received the opportunity to travel to Tibet when Sergey Borisov, an official of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was given a secret assignment. The USSR’s foreign ministry had tasked him with going to Tibet to look for opportunities to proselytise communism. Their travel group posed as religious pilgrims and included genuine Buddhist pilgrims to bolster the façade. Borisov even presented himself as a Buryat Mongol lama during the months-long trek to Lhasa.

Lama Dorjiev arranged for the 21-year-old Geshe Wangyal to be included in Borisov’s group. He was aware of Borisov’s intentions and mission, so he advised the young Geshe Wangyal to separate himself from the group before entering the holy city of Lhasa to avoid being identified as a member of Borisov’s party. Like many geshe aspirants before him, Geshe Wangyal left with the full intention of returning to his hometown one day and spreading the Buddhadharma among his fellow Kalmyks.

 

The Scholar Who Earned His Living

In Lhasa, Geshe Wangyal continued his studies at Drepung Gomang Monastery. Between 1934 and 1935, driven by the need for financial resources, Geshe Wangyal decided to return to Kalmykia to raise the necessary funds to complete his studies. He returned home only to discover that the ruling communist government was persecuting the religious clergy, so Geshe Wangyal decided to return to Asia.

Sir Charles Alfred Bell

Sir Charles Alfred Bell

Geshe Wangyal found a way to earn a living through his friend and confidant, the British statesman and explorer Sir Charles Alfred Bell. Through Bell’s recommendation, Geshe Wangyal served as a guide, interpreter, and assistant during Bell’s Manchurian and Mongolian tour. Once his assignment with Bell was complete, Geshe Wangyal went to China where he compared the different editions of the Kangyur, the spoken words of the Buddha, and the Tangyur, the treatises of the Indian Buddhist commentators, for a publishing house. During this time, Geshe Wangyal taught himself the English language. He also travelled to Vietnam to work for a French diplomat.

His travels allowed him to save up enough funds to return to Tibet and re-enter Drepung Gomang Monastery. Once he obtained his Geshe degree, Geshe Wangyal divided his time between Kalimpong and China in the winter and Lhasa for the rest of the year. He also briefly visited England at the invitation of Marco Palis, a Greek-British author and mountaineer. This idyllic existence, however, was about to be cut short.

Drepung Monastery in Tibet

Drepung Monastery in Tibet

 

Escape to India

By the end of 1951, the Chinese Communist forces had expanded their presence from the eastern provinces to Central Tibet. Geshe Wangyal could not remain in Lhasa because he was known to be a Russian national. His status as a lama and a trader also put him at risk during a time when Communist forces sought to purify society of its bourgeois elements. Geshe Wangyal escaped to Kalimpong, India, where he came across a New York Times article about a group of Kalmyks who had established a community in Freewood Acres, New Jersey, USA. The article inspired him to move to the United States. Freewood Acres later became known as Howell.

Kalimpong in India

Kalimpong in India

 

The Background of Kalmyk Immigration to the United States

After World War II, during Joseph Stalin’s rule, many of the Kalmyks who opposed Communism sought refuge in the United States. In 1948, the United States government issued the Displaced Person (DP) Act, a humanitarian immigration program that authorised 200,000 displaced Europeans’ admission to the United States for permanent residence.

Countess Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya and her famous father, Leo Tolstoy

Countess Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya and her famous father, Leo Tolstoy

At first, there were some doubts as to whether the Kalmyks could be classified as Europeans. Fortunately, the Kalmyks received assistance from Countess Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya, the youngest daughter of the famous Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, and her Tolstoy Foundation.

Countess Alexandra shared her father’s belief in non-violence. She was briefly imprisoned following the Bolshevik Revolution but was later released and installed as the director of the Tolstoy Museum. In 1929, Countess Alexandra emigrated to the United States. Ten years later, she established the Tolstoy Foundation. The original objective of the foundation was to assist refugees from the USSR and Europe, but it grew to include a larger charitable scope.

The Tolstoy Foundation

The Tolstoy Foundation

Through the Tolstoy Foundation, Countess Alexandra testified in front of the immigration tribunal that Kalmyks are Europeans. She argued that the Kalmyks had stayed in European Russia for many centuries and this fact far outweighed their Asian origins.

The tribunal initially rejected the idea that Kalmyks are Europeans but the decision was reversed a few months later by the United States Attorney General and the Board of Immigration Appeals. With their status as Europeans confirmed, the Kalmyks became eligible to enter the United States under the DP Act of 1948. Less than a year after their arrival in the Unites States, the Kalmyks established their first Tibetan Buddhist temple, Rashi Gempil Ling, which is also the first Kalmyk Tibetan Buddhist temple in the United States.

Rashi Gempil Ling, the first Kalmyk Tibetan Buddhist temple in the United States

Rashi Gempil Ling, the first Kalmyk Tibetan Buddhist temple in the United States. This temple was 10 minutes walk from Tsem Rinpoche’s family home in Howell, New Jersey. Tsem Rinpoche as a youth would often come to this temple to receive teachings, initiations and attend Buddhist services.

 

VIDEO: Mongol History – Kalmyks in the USA, 1960s

Or view the video on the server at:
https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/MongolHistoryKalmykintheUSA1960s.mp4

 

Early Days in the United States

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, aboard La Liberté, arrives in America, February 3, 1955. John Lent/Associated Press

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, aboard La Liberté, arrives in America, February 3, 1955. John Lent/Associated Press

Thanks to the intervention of the Tolstoy Foundation, Geshe Wangyal’s application for a visa was finally granted by the American Consulate in New Delhi, India, in 1954. He boarded the La Liberté in France and arrived at the port of New York in January 1955 to become the first Kalmyk Mongolian lama in the United States.

Upon his arrival, Geshe Wangyal attempted to join both Rashi Gempil Ling and the newer Tibetan Buddhist centre, Tashi Lhunpo. Membership in either temple meant that Geshe Wangyal would not have to engage in fundraising activities to purchase the property needed to accommodate the Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Language program that he hoped to start. Geshe Wangyal aspired to establish a program similar to what his teacher, Lama Dorjiev, had created many years before in Kalmykia. Unfortunately, his requests to join Rashi Gempil Ling and Tashi Lhunpo were rejected due to the intervention of Dilowa Khutuktu (Telo Tulku Rinpoche), a Mongolian Tulku who came to the United States in 1949.

 

The Monk Who Worked for the CIA

Geshe Wangyal at Columbia University

Geshe Wangyal at Columbia University

Despite the rejection, an opportunity to raise the necessary funds to establish his education program fortuitously presented itself. From 1956 to the 1970s, Geshe Wangyal taught the Tibetan language at Columbia University.

Takster Rinpoche

Takster Rinpoche

Around the same time that he started teaching at Columbia University, the eldest brother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Thubten Jigme Norbu (Takster Rinpoche), helped Geshe Wangyal to secure a position on the CIA’s Tibet Task Force. Geshe Wangyal was assigned to develop the telecode used to communicate with the Tibetan Resistance movement.

Eight months before Geshe Wangyal’s arrival, the CIA sponsored Takster Rinpoche’s visit to the United States. Takster Rinpoche had previously visited the United States in 1951 to present an eyewitness account of the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet to the American foreign policies and intelligence communities. On the second of such visits, Geshe Wangyal served as Takster Rinpoche’s interpreter during his meeting with the CIA.

According to Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison in their book The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet:

“Having dissected Tibetan grammar during years of poring over Buddhist texts, he had a particularly deep appreciation for its written form. His extended time as Bell’s interpreter had left him with reasonably good English skills. The U.S. government, for one, found his linguistic talents more than adequate: among his first Tibetan students at Columbia were two from the U.S. Army.”

Source: Conboy, Kenneth and Morrison, James, The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet, p. 51

The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet (click to download PDF)

Geshe Wangyal’s involvement with the CIA gave them the opportunity to play a significant role during the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet to India.

The guerrilla fighters assigned to ensure the Dalai Lama’s safety during this escape journey used the telecode developed by Geshe Wangyal to keep the CIA informed of their movements and to request Prime Minister Nehru to grant political asylum in India for the Dalai Lama, his family, and entourage.

After the Dalai Lama arrived in India, Geshe Wangyal focused on the next task, which was to bring the Dalai Lama to the United States.

The Dalai Lama when he entered India in 1959

The Dalai Lama when he entered India in 1959

 

Spreading the Dharma in the United States

Geshe Wangyal’s work with the CIA enabled him to secure a property and build a ranch-style home in Freewood Acres in 1958. The property would go on to become the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America (LBMA), the first centre of Tibetan Buddhist academic studies in the United States.

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal and a boyhood friend from Kalmykia, Dorji Purview, in the new altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, 1964. Courtesy of the David Urubshurow

Geshe Ngawang Wangyal and a boyhood friend from Kalmykia, Dorji Purview, in the new altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, 1964. Courtesy of David Urubshurow.

The year 1960 held several milestones for Geshe Wangyal. He resigned from the CIA task force which continued without him for over ten years. He was also granted American citizenship and an American passport. That summer, Geshe Wangyal travelled to India for an audience with the Dalai Lama, who decided to send four Tibetan Buddhist lamas to Geshe Wangyal’s Freewood Acres centre to learn English and later teach Buddhism to receptive audiences. The four lamas were:

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  • Geshe Lhundup Sopa, who later became a professor of Buddhism at the University of Wisconsin;
  • Lama Kunga Thartse Rinpoche, the founder of the Ewam Choden Buddhist centre in California; and
  • Sharpa Rinpoche and Kamlung Rinpoche, two teenage tulkus.

LBMA continued to sponsor many Tibetan lamas from the Tibetan settlements in India and provided them with English language lessons so that they could serve the Buddhist community in the United States. Geshe Wangyal also took on resident American students who gave English language lessons to the monks in exchange for classes in the Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhism.

Wangyal016a

Many of the teachers under this alumni program would go on to establish their own centres and attract many followers. One example is Geshe Lobsang Tharchin who arrived in the United States after the program began and became the longest-serving abbot at Rashi Gempil Ling. Through his sponsorship of Tibetan monks, Geshe Wangyal played a significant role in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the United States.

Geshe Wangyal was also involved in the translation of two volumes of popular Tibetan and Sanskrit stories: The Prince who became a Cuckoo and The Door of Liberation. Geshe Wangyal also translated Illuminations: A Guide to Essential Buddhist Practices with Brian Cutillo, a scholar and translator in the field of Tibetan Buddhism.

 

The Expansion Continued

Not long after the arrival of the first batch of lamas from India, LBMA received its first group of Harvard students: including Jeffrey Hopkins, Christopher George and others. Geshe Wangyal taught them Buddhism and, in return, his students from Harvard provided English language lessons to the newly-arrived monks and helped out at the centre. Jeffrey Hopkins would go on to receive his doctorate degree and teach Buddhism at the University of Virginia. He also wrote many books on Tibetan Buddhism.

Geshe Wangyal with his students, Jeffrey Hopkins, Robert Thurman, and Christopher George

Geshe Wangyal with his students from Harvard, including Jeffrey Hopkins and Christopher George

In the 1960s, more Americans came to study with Geshe Wangyal and the Tibetan monks. To accommodate the situation and his wish to retire, Geshe Wangyal bought land in Washington, New Jersey, and left his Howell monastery in the care of the resident Tibetan monks. The retreat house was completed in 1968 and, in 1975, Geshe Wangyal and his students built the Schoolhouse.

In 1979, Geshe Wangyal sold the Howell monastery and moved the Tibetan monks to a newly-purchased property in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Aside from fundraising, building, and teaching his students, Geshe Wangyal was also closely involved in the planning of the Labsum Shedrup Ling or Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center’s physical facilities, which was his centre in Washington, New Jersey.

TBLC in Washington, New Jersey

The Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center (TBLC) also known as Labsum Shedrup Ling in Washington, New Jersey

 

Inviting the Dalai Lama to the United States

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In 1964, Geshe Wangyal took one of his American students to India and introduced him to the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. This student was the first Westerner ordained by the Dalai Lama, and he served briefly as a Tibetan Buddhist monk.

Two undergraduate students from Harvard, Joel McCleary and Joshua Cutler, who took an introductory course on Tibetan Buddhism expressed their interest in continuing with their Buddhist studies, so were introduced to Geshe Wangyal in the summer of 1971. McCleary recalled that Geshe Wangyal’s first assignment to him was “Bring the Dalai Lama to America.”

Geshe Wangyal and the Dalai Lama in 1979

Geshe Wangyal and the Dalai Lama in 1979

By this time, Geshe Wangyal had successfully brought over many Tibetan lamas to the United States. Bringing the Dalai Lama over, however, proved to be an undertaking of Herculean proportions made worse by obstacles of a political nature. In December 1959, President Eisenhower rejected the Tibetans’ request to meet with the Dalai Lama. Some people viewed this rejection as a sign that the United States saw the Dalai Lama as Persona Non Grata, or an unwelcome person.

Once he was given the task of bringing the Dalai Lama to the United States, McCleary began a relentless campaign of writing to various leaders of Congress to request their support. In 1977, McCleary became the Deputy Assistant to President Carter’s Administration. He succeeded in obtaining the help of Deputy Assistant Tom Beard to help him reverse the State Department’s policy on the Dalai Lama issue. Through their lobbying efforts, McCleary and Beard gained many staunch supporters who later became the Dalai Lama’s best friends when he finally arrived in America.

David Urubshurow, age 11, lights a butter lamp in the original altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America while Geshe Ngawang Wangyal reads and translates sutras, 1959. Courtesy of David Urubshurow.

David Urubshurow, age 11, lights a butterlamp in the original altar room of the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America while Geshe Ngawang Wangyal reads and translates sutras, 1959. Courtesy of David Urubshurow.

McCleary and Beard managed to bring the issue of the Dalai Lama’s visit to the highest level of the government. They presented it as an extension of President Carter’s commitment to human rights and a hallmark of his foreign policy. The issue soon became the agenda for the National Security Council where McCleary and Beard, accompanied by Hopkins and Tenzin Tethong from the Office of Tibet in New York City, made a compelling argument in favour of the visit.

Another beautiful picture of the Dalai Lama and Geshe Wangyal taken in August 1981

Another beautiful picture of the Dalai Lama and Geshe Wangyal taken in August 1981

In September 1979, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in the United States for the first time to commence a seven-week nationwide teaching tour. His first lecture took place at the LBMA in New Jersey, and his first private audience was given to Joel and April McCleary. The Dalai Lama’s maiden visit to the United States marked the beginning of the world’s and America’s love affair with him. The Dalai Lama would visit LBMA a total of eight times.

In 1981, after the Dalai Lama concluded his second teaching visit to LBMA, Geshe Wangyal gathered all his closest friends and disciples at the LBMA’s schoolhouse library to bid farewell to His Holiness. When the Dalai Lama arrived, Geshe Wangyal burst into tears as His Holiness hugged him and playfully tugged at his long goatee. Finally, His Holiness also started to weep. That was the last meeting between the Dalai Lama and Geshe Wangyal.

 

Later Life

A picture of the older Geshe Wangyal

A picture of the older Geshe Wangyal

Four months before his death, Geshe Wangyal offered the building in New Brunswick where he housed the Tibetan monks to the Dalai Lama’s charitable organisation, The Tibet Fund. He then arranged for the monks in New Brunswick to be moved to the Washington centre.

He also appointed his long-time students, Joshua and his wife, Diana Cutler, as his administrative successors. He gave them the assignment of building a temple on the TBLC grounds in memory of Alice Scudder Rayburn, Geshe Wangyal’s student and sponsor, who had passed away six months earlier. It was his wish that this temple would become the residence of the Dalai Lama whenever he visited.

On January 30, 1983 Geshe Wangyal passed away peacefully.

 

Legacy

In the summer of 1991, David Urubshurow, one of Geshe Wangyal’s longtime students, had the privilege of accompanying His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his visit to Kalmykia in southeastern Russia where he received a warm welcome. A person asked him, “Your Holiness, why are you here?” His Holiness immediately replied,

“I am here because of my friend Geshe Wangyal.”

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Addendum: H.E. Tsem Rinpoche & Geshe Ngawang Wangyal

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https://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/TsemRinpocheOnGesheNgawangWangyal.mp4

Transcript
When I was adopted over, back in 1972, to the United States, I was six going on seven years old. I was given over to a Mongolian family, which is also part of my heritage, and the particular group of Mongolians that I was given over to were called Kalmyks or Kalmyk Mongolians. They were situated in the tri-state area in the eastern part of the United States, which is namely Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey. So, in this tri-state area, the Kalmyk Mongolians were living and made it their home, because it was very difficult for them to live in their homeland and practise their religion, with the onslaught of the Stalinist regime and the communist regime in Russia at that time.

Tsem Rinpoche as a young boy and the Kalmyk family he was adopted into

Tsem Rinpoche as a young boy and the Kalmyk family he was adopted into

So the Kalmyks, who were traditionally Buddhists, immigrated to Europe and from Europe immigrated to the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The Kalmyks are very strong in their practice and faith of Buddhism, as they have been for many centuries. Therefore, in New Jersey itself, they had established four very beautiful Buddhist temples, and they also have it in Philadelphia.

When I was adopted over to the United States, I went to Howell, New Jersey. And Howell, New Jersey had a large community of immigrant Mongolian people, Kalmyk people, Kalmyk Mongols, and they had settled there and built their temples. In Howell New Jersey, there were three Kalmyk Mongolian Buddhist Temples and then in North Jersey, in Washington, New Jersey, this was in the northern part of the state of New Jersey, there was a Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center that was opened and developed by the Mongolian Geshe, Geshe Wangyal.

Kalmyk Mongols preserved their ancient practice of Buddhism in America

Kalmyk Mongols preserved their ancient practice of Buddhism in America

So what happened was, all of the Mongolians would attend regular temple service, rituals, holidays, prayers. Whenever there was a Buddhist holiday, such as Tsongkhapa’s Day, then people would attend and engage in prayers, the monks would chant and do rituals, and the lay people would sit in the temple and recite mantras, while they turned the prayer wheel. That was one of my favourite times of going to the temple.

I visited all three temples in Howell, New Jersey, and whenever I had free time, I would particularly go to Nitsan Temple, and Rashi Gempil Ling Temple. Rashi Gempil Ling Temple is the seat of my first teacher, Geshe Lobsang Tharchin. Later, he became the abbot and he was known as Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche. So Rashi Gempil Ling Temple, which is built by the Kalmyk Mongolian people in the community there, was built, sustained, maintained by the Mongolian Kalmyk community there. It’s a very beautiful temple. And I would go there for services, for prayers, for classes, and what not, and that was literally five minutes bike ride from my house. If I was to walk, it would be about ten to fifteen minutes, because it was very, very nearby, so I was very, very fortunate.

The Mongolian community in Washington, New Jersey, well, the Mongol Geshe in Washington, New Jersey, of the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, Kalmyk Mongols of New York and Philadelphia, and New Jersey, all combined, and invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1979 to the United States. This was spearheaded by the great Mongolian master, Geshe Wangyal.

So, Geshe Wangyal made the arrangements, he made the request, and he made the preparations. And naturally, all of the Mongolian people who have been connected to the Dalai Lama for many centuries, all the various Dalai Lamas for many centuries, were very excited. I remember His Holiness came in 1979, he visited all three temples of Nitsan, Tashi Lhunpo and Rashi Gempil Ling Temple. He visited all the three temples in Howell, New Jersey, and he graciously also visited the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in Washington, New Jersey.

What was very exciting was we all took a bus, the Mongolian people chartered a bus, many buses actually, many buses to Washington, New Jersey. I think it was about a two-hour ride, not too far, pleasant ride, to Washington, New Jersey, which has a large piece of land up at the base of the Appalachian Mountains, and it was very green, and forested.

Geshe Wangyal's centre was at the base of beautiful Appalachian Mountains

Geshe Wangyal’s centre was at the base of beautiful Appalachian Mountains

Geshe Wangyal had a special house and residence built for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, that had his own temple, he had his own residence there, and while we were there, they were in the process of building a lake, and he had tents set up all over the land, and he had reception centres. He had a beautiful area to receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all the people there.

I can’t remember exactly how many people because back then in 1979 I was 14, so at least there would be at least 400-500 persons there, maybe even more. Because I know among the Kalmyks, Kalmyk Mongols, there were at least 300-400 persons. And so, we were very excited because Geshe Wangyal invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Washington centre, and under the auspices, the sponsorship and the spearheading of Geshe Wangyal. It was really exciting because when we arrived by bus there, we had a chance to meet Geshe Wangyal, and it was the first time that I had met this Kalmyk Mongolian master, and he gave me his blessings, and by that time he was already much older, I don’t know how old, but he was much older. I remember his distinctive white goatee, and of course he spoke fluent Mongolian, and Tibetan, and some English, and the whole place was set up so beautifully.

A depiction of Buddha Nageshvaraja, with white face and blue body

A depiction of Buddha Nageshvaraja, with white face and blue body

The main picture that was set up outside was the Buddha Nagaraja, who had a white head, and a blue body, and who is one of the Buddhas of the Thirty-five Confessional Buddhas Sutra. There were many offerings everywhere, beautiful tents, and a throne was set up outside, and it was absolutely a beautiful, cool day. I think it was around September, so it was already early fall. So, it was not cold, but it was cool, and it was very crisp, very clear, and very nice.

His Holiness had already been resting in his room, and the next thing we knew was Geshe Wangyal in the traditional manner, with incense, invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama out of his room, to the throne and dais where he was going to give the teachings, under a tent, outdoors. It was a very beautiful moment, and His Holiness came out, and he sat on the throne, and Geshe Wangyal made the traditional prostrations and offerings, and everybody sat down.

I remember, when His Holiness arrived, there was a very light, misty rain. Nobody got wet. It was just a very light mist appeared, and there were rainbows all over the place. Then there was a little white butterfly that kept hovering around His Holiness’ head, not landing on the Dalai Lama’s head, or not falling on the Dalai Lama’s head, but just hovering around it, for, you know, I think about fifteen, twenty minutes, and then flew away.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama proceeded to give us teachings on the “Eight Verses of Thought Transformation”, and he gave explanations on each of the eight verses, and on top of that, he gave an explanation on how to meditate on it, and he advised us to recite the “Eight Verses” every single day, which I started to do from that time onwards. He also gave us the oral transmission of Avalokiteshvara’s mantra, Chenrezig’s mantra – Om Mani Padme Hum.

It was very, very beautiful and if I remember the teachings were about two to three hours, and I cried throughout most of the teachings because I felt very happy to receive these teachings and they felt very familiar, and they felt very appropriate. I felt that the teachings were very appropriate and very familiar, and comfortable, for lack of a better description of how I felt. Afterwards, we all lined up and we had the fortune to go up personally and offer a khata, a white silk traditional greeting scarf to His Holiness, and receive his blessings, and he gave each of us a hand blessing, which is he places his hand on our head, and also a red string that has been tied in a knot in the centre, which contains blessed mantras, blown on by His Holiness.

Four-armed Chenrezig

Four-armed Chenrezig. Click to enlarge.

So, I was extremely excited, and I remember before this, I had taken two or three weeks to paint a poster of the Four-armed Avalokiteshvara. I painted the Avalokiteshvara, and I painstakingly put a lot of details and all that on it, and on the back, I composed a prayer. I composed a prayer to praise His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and his indivisibility with Avalokiteshvara, and I prayed that I will be close to him and not be separated from him in this life and future lives. So I had composed that prayer in my little childish writing, and then I wrote it at the back of the painting, and I had this all prepared.

So, when I went to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I’ve offered this painting up, and he graciously accepted it, and I flipped it to the back and he was reading it. I was holding people up in line, and people were kind of giving me that look that I was holding people up in line, so I said to His Holiness he can read it later, he doesn’t have to read it now because there is a lot of people waiting. He smiled, and so he accepted the painting, and that was my first meeting with His Holiness in New Jersey, besides meeting him in Howell, of course, briefly.

After that was done, we had our lunch there and there were so many Kalmyk people there, there were so many Kalmyk kids, all of my relatives were there, and it was just a very beautiful, wonderful day. We went to say thank you to Geshe Wangyal for all of this, and we took our bus, and went back to New Jersey, and that was that. You have to understand that for many years, I had, for many years, since I was nine, ten, eleven, twelve years old, wanted to study Buddhism very deeply, I wanted to become a Buddhist monk, I wanted to go to the mountains to meditate, and for years, I would be in my house in Howell, New Jersey, my family house, and I would often paint or draw, or use crayons to colour in different paintings, different drawings, different illustrations of mountains, and people meditating in mountains and people seeing Buddhas while they are meditating, having visions of Buddhas, having visions of their personal yidams or meditational deities.

So I’d be drawing this and I’d be visualising this, and fantasising about this for many, many years, even as a child. I felt very familiar with meditating in the mountains, I felt very familiar with monks, and I felt that I should be wearing robes. I felt that robes were the appropriate clothes for me, and also, that I should be among monks. I felt very much like an outsider to be with lay people, and I felt very comfortable to be with monks. So I would often go to the nearby temples, the Kalmyk temples, to be with monks, talk with the monks, and visit them as much as possible, as much as my mother would allow me. She was very restrictive on that.

After I saw the Washington temple, it made a very deep impact on me, and I thought, what a beautiful place to live, what a beautiful place to stay, because it’s in the Appalachian Mountain base, it’s filled with trees and it’s green, and how lovely it would be if I can go there, and live there, become ordained as a monk and study there. And I thought about that.

A young Tsem Rinpoche with his adopted mother

A young Tsem Rinpoche with his adopted mother

So, what happened was I’ve had many, many problems with my parents, due to a lot of issues my mother had with my father, which I will not get into at this time. She was a very disturbed, and unhappy, and very angry woman, although she was a very kind woman. She was a good person, but because of her tumultuous relationship with her husband, my stepfather, it often disturbed her mental equilibrium. It often disturbed her mind, and she was not at peace. I would be the brunt of her unhappiness, where I would receive a lot of, I would say, scolding and physical abuse, beatings and all that for many, many years. I took it because I did love her. But my yearning was to go to the temple, was to study at the temple, and she was 100 percent against that.

Although being a very staunch and strong Buddhist herself, I was her only son, she adopted me to be her son. It is not Kalmyk tradition to allow your only son to be a Sangha. If you had three, four, or five sons, you can perhaps spare one son, for lack of a better word, to the monasteries, as it was Mongolian tradition, and also Tibetan tradition. In any case, as being the only son, I wasn’t allowed to become a monk, or study Buddhism. I would have to stay in a secular way of life, which I totally rejected.

My conflict with my mom also became stronger because of that. As a result, I ran away from home many times, where I literally packed my stuff when she wasn’t around, and I would get on the bus and go to various parts of the United States. One of my first, one of my earlier attempts of running away was when I was fourteen. I mean I had run away earlier than that, but that was an earlier attempt of running away, because I had run away at eleven, I had run away at twelve, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, I run away many times because I really wanted to go study Buddhism.

When I was around fourteen, fifteen, around that time I remember, that I had a fall out with my mom. She wouldn’t allow me to go to the temple to receive teachings from my teacher anymore, the temple was Rashi Gempil Ling, so I decided to leave. When she wasn’t around, I packed my bags and I had left home. When I’d left, it was in winter, and it was snowing, and it was a lot of snow in New Jersey, the snow is very, big amounts, you know, it could be two or three foot of snow back then.

What I had done was, I had packed my bags and I wanted to go to Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, and that’s what I did. I packed my bags and I went to Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, and I got on the bus, and then I somehow arrived in Washington, New Jersey. When I arrived in Washington, New Jersey, this was like half a year, one year later, when I had run away, I forgot the name of the place where Geshe Wangyal was, and I forgot the name of the centre and all that.

Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre

Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre which is also known as Labsum Shedrup Ling

I went to the public library in Washington, New Jersey, and it was open. There was a very lovely librarian there. I had not told her I had run away or anything, I just said that I am looking for a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Washington, New Jersey, and she had heard of it. So, she went on to do some search. You know, back then they had microfiche, and they had these microfiche machines. She went on a search, and she found some newspaper articles, and from that she found the location of Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, and the telephone number and all of that, and she gave it to me. I was ever so grateful.

I went to a phone booth, and I called up the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center in my youthful innocence, and I requested to talk to Geshe Wangyal. The lady on the phone was very kind, she said to me Geshe Wangyal is not here at this time because it is winter, and that he had gone to Florida, where he usually goes every winter, because it’s drier and hotter, and it was easier for his arthritis. So needless to say, I was very disappointed, but I still spoke to her, she asked me what did I want, and I said I wanted Geshe Wangyal’s permission to join the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center, and become a monk, and study and stay there. So, the lady on the phone said to me she couldn’t make that decision for me, and that I should call back in a short while, that she would call Geshe-la and seek his advice.

So I think I waited for about an hour, and I called back and the lady said that she had contacted Geshe Wangyal la in Florida. And he had said that he is very happy to see my energy and my strength of will to practice Buddhism, but in America I would need my parents’ permission, since I was a minor, to stay at his centre. Without my parents’ permission it would be illegal for him to allow me to stay at his centre, although he was very happy to hear that I wanted to study Buddhism.

He had said to me to promise him to go back home and seek my parents’ permission and not stay in Washington, but to be safe at home and then study at a later time and that he would lend me $50 dollars to do so. The $50 dollars were for me to stay in a hotel and the next day to take a bus trip back to Howell, New Jersey, which was in the south.

Because such a great master had said this to me through his assistant, this lady – I don’t remember this lady’s name, I reluctantly agreed. So this lady drove down to the centre of Washington Town, because they are in the outskirts, in the mountains. She talked to me and she listened to me. I told her how much I wanted to study Buddhism, how much I wanted to become a monk, and how disappointed I am that I cannot join the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre.

She said to me that Geshe la is sympathetic to my plight, very sympathetic to what I wish to do but that America has strict laws and this would not be allowed. She said to me that she was instructed to “pass $50 to you. Are you going to take this and stay in a hotel and rest? And then take a bus back tomorrow and be safe? Do you promise to do this? Geshe la wants you to promise.” So, I said to her that “I promise.”

She gave me $50 dollars and I went to a hotel, a cheap hotel, at that time to stay. I think it was 20-30 dollars. I thought that although I had promised this master, although he is not my teacher, that I would have to do that. The next day I took a bus back to Howell, New Jersey. I went back home and well, I was in big trouble. There was scolding and beating and screaming and shouting. The usual which I have endured for many years. I told my mother what I did and she was not pleased, needless to say.

So that was my first encounter and second encounter, or association with Geshe la. It was many, many years later that His Holiness the Dalai Lama again visited Geshe Wangyal’s centre, back in 1987. So, it was eight years later that he visited the Tibetan Learning Centre again in Washington, New Jersey. I went up there and this time I was 21-22 years old. I had a short blessing from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and at that time I requested him that I wish to become a monk and if he can ordain me. This has been captured on video, which I will include here.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama accepted and he was very happy. He was very pleased and he said that if I come to India, it would be no problem, he would ordain me into the Buddhist monkhood. I accepted and I was very, very excited. In Geshe Wangyal’s Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre, in Washington, New Jersey is where I met the Dalai Lama again in 1987 and where I requested to become ordained. So it was right at that spot in Tibetan Buddhist Learning Centre. It was in Geshe Wangyal’s centre that I requested to become a monk and later I flew to India in 1987 to become a Buddhist monk.

When I arrived in India, I went to Dharamsala and I had audience with His Holiness and I was official ordained. So that was my little bit of association and connection or interaction with the great Buddhist master Geshe Wangyal. I thought I would share that here on this blogpost, it would be somewhat appropriate. Thank you very much.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

VIDEO: Tsem Rinpoche requesting H.H. Dalai Lama for ordination in 1987


Postscript
Tsem Rinpoche requested His Holiness the Dalai Lama for ordination in 1987 at Geshe Ngawang Wangyal’s centre in Washington, New Jersey. During another earlier visit to the centre, before Geshe Wangyal passed away in 1983, Tsem Rinpoche found Geshe Wangyal’s assistant who had given him $50 at the instructions of Geshe Wangyal when he tried to run away to the centre previously. Tsem Rinpoche had not forgotten that the money was borrowed, so explained to the assistant who he was and that he was returning the $50.

She was happy to see that he was well and insisted that he give the money back to Geshe Wangyal himself. She led him over to Geshe Wangyal, who by that time was in a wheelchair and hard of hearing. She asked Geshe Wangyal if he remembered that a young boy had wanted to join his centre and that he had instructed her to give him $50 so that he could stay in a hotel before returning back to his parents. Geshe Wangyal replied that he did indeed remember. So, the assistant introduced Tsem Rinpoche as that boy and Tsem Rinpoche returned the money to Geshe Wangyal.

Geshe Wangyal was very pleased that Tsem Rinpoche was well. He accepted the money and was happy that Tsem Rinpoche had used the money to get back to his parents successfully.

 

Sources:

  • Conboy, Kenneth and Morrison, James. The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet. The University Press Kansas, 2000.
  • Wangyal, Geshe Ngawang. The Door of Liberation: Essential Teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition. Wisdom Publications, 1995.
  • http://www.tricycle.com/feature/russia-love
  • https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/from-russia-with-love.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngawang_Wangyal
  • http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Geshe_Ngawang_Wangyal
  • https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Geshe_Ngawang_Wangyal
  • http://www.labsum.org/welcome.html
  • http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/wml/collections/ethnology/asia/tibet/charles-bell/related-person-51105-1.aspx

 

For more interesting information:

 

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3 Responses to Geshe Ngawang Wangyal: America’s First Pioneering Buddhist Lama

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  1. Samfoonheei on Oct 20, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Geshe Ngawang Wangyal was a Buddhist priest and scholar of Kalmyk origin born in the Astrakhan province,Russia. Folowing his brother footsteps he became a monk at a young age , he was able to learn the Tibetan language and could memorised many Tibetan texts. Geshe Wangyal’s intelligence and passion for Buddhist studies lead him working hard to continue his studies. His struggles paid off and during the Chinese invasion he has helped in the escape of HH Dalai Lama to India. The rest is history and later he made his way to New Jersey his home , working for CIA and as a translator then. In the later years he managed to established and built a Buddhist monastery. He gave teachings to many students of Western background and sponsoring many Tibetian Lamas and monks from India to serve the Buddhist community in the United States. He played a significant role in spreading Tibetan Buddhism in the United States. He has worked tireless to benefit many people , had translated two volumes of popular Tibetan and Sanskrit stories illustrative of Buddhist teachings. His legacy still lives on till today.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting read with folded hands.

  2. Tsa Tsa Ong on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    It’s always a wonderful blessing to read Rinpoche’s sharing personal life experiences about Rinpoche’s Gurus. Especially about Geshe Ngawang Wangyal. It’s very inspiring and a lovely write up. Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for this interesting article. 😍🙏👍💛

  3. Datuk May on Oct 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Through a very diverse journey from USSR to the United States, Geshe Ngawang Wangyal never wavered from being a Buddhist scholar and a Lama Monk.

    It is inspiring to read of the life Geshe Ngawang Wangyal who always learnt in all his situations whether good or bad.

    It is the will to always hold the Dharma and to teach others to benefit from Buddhism, that Geshe Ngawang Wangyal succeeded in all his endeavours including being the first American Pioneering Buddhist Lama to having the H.H the 14th Dalai Lama’s first visit to USA.

    Inspiring story of a Leader among men.

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  • Chris
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 04:23 PM
    This statue is magnificent. Big outdoor Buddha statue has a lot of benefits to the entire area where the statue is built on and also all the sentient beings that is around that statue. In history, there are large outdoor Buddhas that were built specifically to calm the area down. Areas that are prone to accidents or natural disasters are recommended to have a large Buddha statue to calm the land and also the unseen beings around that area.

    Leishan Giant Buddha is one of the examples of an outdoor Buddha statue that is purposely created to calm the environment down. The Buddha statue is carved from a cliff and it depicts Maitreya Buddha who is very popular in China. The statue overlooks a river which has turbulent waters that caused alot of problem for shipping vessels that travels down the river. After the Buddha statue is being made, the water of the river did calm down. This is just one of the examples.

    Large outdoor Buddha statues are also built to bless the sentient beings that reside in that area. Humans or animals that can see the statue will be planted with Dharmic imprints that will benefit them in their future lives when they are triggered. Unseen beings around the area will also be blessed and pacified by the Buddha statue. That is why having a large outdoor Buddha statue is very beneficial.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-gigantic-maitreya-buddha-of-xumishan-grottes-china
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 02:54 PM
    Failure is not something to be ashamed of. If we fail, we just continue to find different ways to try. If we persist, we will be successful one day. If we are afraid to fail and try to avoid failure, we will end up not doing anything and at the end of the day, we will not achieve anything in our life. As a result, we will become bitter and unhappy. Therefore, be brave, don’t be afraid to try, find ways to succeed, not to fail.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-fear-of-losing-our-title-of-being-a-winner
    [no sender]
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 02:47 PM
    When highly attained Buddhist masters pass away, they are able to stay in meditation for days some for years. During this period, their bodies show no sign of decomposition, their limbs are not stiff and their flesh is still soft. Lama Itigilov was exhumed 75 years after his passing and his body shows no sign of decomposition, how amazing!

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/hambo-lama-itygelovs-body-after-75-years
    [no sender]
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 02:21 PM
    Nostalgia: Reminiscing on those who have passed on

    Humans are so fickle. When they are here, we get into all sorts of emotions and drama with them, the tantrum, the jealousy, the fights, the revenge, etc. And yet, the moment they are gone, all we do is remember them and miss so dreadfully. Why can’t we treasure them while they are alive and let go of the unpleasant which is impermanent anyway? Don’t you agree?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/nostalgia-reminiscing-on-those-who-have-passed-on.html
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 02:15 PM
    20 Awesome Malaysian Animals

    Malaysia is a country rich in nature and fauna. So many hidden undiscovered treasures of the jungle still exist. Here is only 20 of the many that Malaysia has. See if you see any unusual one.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/20-awesome-malaysian-animals.html
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 02:05 PM
    Sasquatch (Bigfoot)!!!

    Another love of Rinpoche! Do you share this also? Are you curious of this elusive giant that had been spotted and yet never ever found conclusively? Modern technology is still trying to catch up with this mythical but very real being.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/sasquatch-bigfoot.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 01:06 PM
    A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, . t is suspected that they result from abnormal activity in the brain. Stress, depression, anxiety, excitement, and shock can trigger a migraine. If there is natural remedies to helps people with migraine will be wonderful as taking pain killer in long terms is not so good . Natural remedies are a drug-free way to reduce migraine symptoms. It seem that a small amounts, caffeine alone can relieve migraine pain in the early stages.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this remedies.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/10-natural-ways-to-reduce-migraine-symptoms
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 01:05 PM
    In folklore, a ghost or unseen beings is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear to the living. Science and spirituality have their own explanations somehow. The existing of ghost, spirits or unseen beings are every where . Its only that we could not see it. To me I do believe in paranormal and unseen beings do exist after all. Rinpoche’s scary and creepy paranormal stories tells more than that , they do definitely exist in this world. There are all unexplained or paranormal true creepy stories. Although the evidence for ghosts is based on reports, the belief in ghosts throughout history has remained widespread and persistent. I do enjoyed reading all of them even though I have not met or see one yet at times I can feel their existence .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tsem-rinpoches-scary-paranormal-stories
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 11:54 AM
    Celebrities Ghost Stories 2 & 3

    Rinpoche had always been interested in his genre of shows and here he shares his interest with you. I find that many Kecharians love these and I would think the world over too. Have fun and best watched at night alone on a rainy day! hehehehe!

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/film-tv-music/celebrities-ghost-stories-2-3.html
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 11:51 AM
    Never Seen Before Footage of Dorje Shugden Oracles | 从未曝光的多杰雄登神谕片段

    Amazing how Dorje Shugden greeted Rinpoche in this monastery when the monks did not know who he was. The Oracle took spontaneous trance and Dorje Shugden requested Rinpoche to help the new Oracle clear his channels. Rinpoche had always been so humble about his attainments but enlightened beings like Dorje Shugden knows. Read more here what happened.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/never-seen-before-footage-of-dorje-shugden-oracles.html
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 11:45 AM
    The White Old Man (Tsagan Evgen)

    Although this deity is well known to the Mongolians, he looks similar to our Chinese deity too. We call him the Sau Sing, meaning God of Longevity and also known to take care of children like a grandfather would. What do you think? Read and find out what I am talking about.


    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/the-white-old-man-tsagan-evgen.html
  • Chris
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 10:27 AM
    Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing these stunning pictures of possible future retreat houses. They are very beautiful and serene. They are perfect for people to engage in deep retreats of their Yidam and live a happy, peaceful and useful life. The picture that Rinpoche had painted for us is alluring and made the readers are eager to engage in a life long retreat with their own Yidam.

    This is the Kechara Forest Retreat that we are working towards here. I can imagine these small retreat hut spouting everywhere in Kechara Forest Retreat when Kecharians engaging in deep retreats in them. Everyone will live harmoniously and support each other.

    What a beautiful community to be in the rest of our lives. I understand Rinpoche’s vision on building such a place now. It will be a spiritual and conscious community where everyone is spiritual and engaging in spiritual activities. Living harmoniously along with each other and support each other on our spiritual path. It will be a Vajrayogini’s Kechara paradise on earth.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/interesting-houses-and-their-occupants-in-the-mountains.html
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Jan 17. 2019 07:17 AM
    Things that Tsem Rinpoche talks about is always Dharma even when he is traveling. In the past, Tsem Rinpoche had been to places like Singapore, Ipoh, Kelantan, Penang, Thailand and the USA. Everywhere Tsem Rinpoche goes, he will have something insightful to share with us that opens our mind and changes our perception. These are some very precious teachings from Tsem Rinpoche. Enjoy!

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/applicable-dharma-talks-from-around-the-world
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 16. 2019 11:55 AM
    Wow amazing video show how animals showing love for humans. Not only dogs, cat ,elephants , even other animals such as ducks, chickens and so forth. Animals have the capacity to express their love for us human too, and they have feelings as we do. Researchers has proven that some animals likely feel a full range of emotions which include fear, joy, happiness, shame, embarrassment, jealousy, rage, and anger as well. Watching the amazing videos tell us a thousand words. Some of those animals were very affectionate and showing surprising emotions which I never come across some of them. Truly amazing as my own furry doggie did the same.
    Love and care for them , nor matter what happened never hurt, harm or abandoned them.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/animals-show-love-for-humans
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jan 16. 2019 11:54 AM
    Vertigo is a sensation of spinning dizziness. It is often associated on going spells of dizziness caused by problems in the inner ear or brain. Those people who suffered from vertigo may also experience nausea, loss of balance and server vomiting at times. Its really good that there is ways to solve it as medical treatment is very expensive unless the condition worsen in some cases. Performing the Epley Maneuver to treat BPPV vertigo can saves a lot of medical expenses. If it helps why not try this first.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/amazing-quick-method-to-treat-your-vertigo

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Concept: Tsem Rinpoche
Technical: Lew Kwan Leng, Justin Ripley, Yong Swee Keong
Design: Justin Ripley, Cynthia Lee
Content: Tsem Rinpoche, Justin Ripley, Pastor Shin Tan, Sarah Yap
Admin: Pastor Loh Seng Piow, Beng Kooi

I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

Tsem Rinpoche

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
California did the right thing! This news makes me very happy and I hope other states in the US and nations will follow suit. - https://bit.ly/2LXo2tg
1 week ago
California did the right thing! This news makes me very happy and I hope other states in the US and nations will follow suit. - https://bit.ly/2LXo2tg
The extraordinary life of Lady Lhalu- https://bit.ly/2FbkIdj
2 weeks ago
The extraordinary life of Lady Lhalu- https://bit.ly/2FbkIdj
So many beautiful flowers....There are more on the others side too. I have offered them to the Buddhas...
2 weeks ago
So many beautiful flowers....There are more on the others side too. I have offered them to the Buddhas...
Lovely mini statues perfect for small apartments, your work desk or any space. Vajra Yogini who leads you to Kechara Paradise. Manjushri who confirms great wisdom and realizations. Dorje Shugden in his various forms. The perfect trio at around 7.5 inches each. From www.vajrasecrets.com and Kechara\'s Flea market (Naropa\'s Cave).
2 weeks ago
Lovely mini statues perfect for small apartments, your work desk or any space. Vajra Yogini who leads you to Kechara Paradise. Manjushri who confirms great wisdom and realizations. Dorje Shugden in his various forms. The perfect trio at around 7.5 inches each. From http://www.vajrasecrets.com and Kechara's Flea market (Naropa's Cave).
Click on picture and read and do share with others. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Click on picture and read and do share with others. Tsem Rinpoche
Why bigger Buddha statues are more beneficial | 为何佛像越大、越多越好find out here- https://bit.ly/2FauD2M
2 weeks ago
Why bigger Buddha statues are more beneficial | 为何佛像越大、越多越好find out here- https://bit.ly/2FauD2M
CUTE ATTACK!-

Oser girl loves the balcony so much. She is so cute! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
2 weeks ago
CUTE ATTACK!- Oser girl loves the balcony so much. She is so cute! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
Please click on photo and read this one in two languages.
2 weeks ago
Please click on photo and read this one in two languages.
Click on photo to enlarge and please read and share.
2 weeks ago
Click on photo to enlarge and please read and share.
.



As long as a sentient being perceives a non-existent ‘I’ and abides within the state of its resultant projections, both subtle and gross karma will be accumulated even if one is just sitting still and doing nothing.~Tsem Rinpoche 



.
2 weeks ago
. As long as a sentient being perceives a non-existent ‘I’ and abides within the state of its resultant projections, both subtle and gross karma will be accumulated even if one is just sitting still and doing nothing.~Tsem Rinpoche .
Father Spends Quality Time With His Son. See what they do.- https://bit.ly/2Ax5ICN
2 weeks ago
Father Spends Quality Time With His Son. See what they do.- https://bit.ly/2Ax5ICN
Liang Jing who found a wonderful organic hat to block out the sun! Liang Jiang is such a polite, well-mannered, easy going young adult who just cooperates with everything you ask him to help with. He is a delightful young person and he helps his dad maintain our organic vegetable patch on Kechara Forest Retreat land in Bentong, Malaysia.
2 weeks ago
Liang Jing who found a wonderful organic hat to block out the sun! Liang Jiang is such a polite, well-mannered, easy going young adult who just cooperates with everything you ask him to help with. He is a delightful young person and he helps his dad maintain our organic vegetable patch on Kechara Forest Retreat land in Bentong, Malaysia.
Great father and son team at Kechara Forest Retreat harvesting vegetables.
2 weeks ago
Great father and son team at Kechara Forest Retreat harvesting vegetables.
Cute little He Wei working with his dad putting Dorje Shugden mantra stones on the grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat. He is very energetic. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Cute little He Wei working with his dad putting Dorje Shugden mantra stones on the grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat. He is very energetic. Tsem Rinpoche
See what 560 monks in Langmu Monastery are doing | 美丽的朗木赛赤寺与560名寺僧 - https://bit.ly/2VtSIqo
2 weeks ago
See what 560 monks in Langmu Monastery are doing | 美丽的朗木赛赤寺与560名寺僧 - https://bit.ly/2VtSIqo
Meaning Behind the Fasting Buddha Statue- https://bit.ly/2s7Oh79
2 weeks ago
Meaning Behind the Fasting Buddha Statue- https://bit.ly/2s7Oh79
See video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q53GTR-Kya0&feature=youtu.be


您有没有想过如何用自己有限的预算来供养大佛像?

看看Julia和大家分享她所制造将要来到克切拉禅修林的9尺多杰雄登佛像的经验。你将学会如何将 放进这大佛像里面来累积无休止的功德给您自己和身边的人。

欢迎你来PJ的克切拉佛教中心或文冬的克切拉禅修林做你的供养货上网 
https://www.vajrasecrets.com/9ft-dorje-shugden-statue-insertion-fund
2 weeks ago
See video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q53GTR-Kya0&feature=youtu.be 您有没有想过如何用自己有限的预算来供养大佛像? 看看Julia和大家分享她所制造将要来到克切拉禅修林的9尺多杰雄登佛像的经验。你将学会如何将 放进这大佛像里面来累积无休止的功德给您自己和身边的人。 欢迎你来PJ的克切拉佛教中心或文冬的克切拉禅修林做你的供养货上网 https://www.vajrasecrets.com/9ft-dorje-shugden-statue-insertion-fund
11 Frightening & Unusual paranormal stories- https://bit.ly/2LQ7zGV
2 weeks ago
11 Frightening & Unusual paranormal stories- https://bit.ly/2LQ7zGV
Respected lamas of any devoted students will have two stupas for their remains. One stupa inside the ladrang of the lama and one stupa outside for the public to worship and do kora. By keeping the remains of the lama\'s previous lives in stupas, and making offerings, generates the merits for the current incarnation and future incarnations of the lama to be able to do more dharma work to benefit others. 

Here is a beautiful indoor stupa to a lama in Tibet. It is up to the strength of the devotion of the students to create such stupas in respect and dedication of their lama\'s previous incarnation(s). TR
2 weeks ago
Respected lamas of any devoted students will have two stupas for their remains. One stupa inside the ladrang of the lama and one stupa outside for the public to worship and do kora. By keeping the remains of the lama's previous lives in stupas, and making offerings, generates the merits for the current incarnation and future incarnations of the lama to be able to do more dharma work to benefit others. Here is a beautiful indoor stupa to a lama in Tibet. It is up to the strength of the devotion of the students to create such stupas in respect and dedication of their lama's previous incarnation(s). TR
The Phenomena of Oracles among various cultures. Very interesting- https://bit.ly/2s3vTfF
2 weeks ago
The Phenomena of Oracles among various cultures. Very interesting- https://bit.ly/2s3vTfF
His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche in Heruka Tantric dress
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche in Heruka Tantric dress
His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche in front of the bodhi tree in Bodhgaya. The bodhi tree Lord Buddha sat under and became enlightened. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche in front of the bodhi tree in Bodhgaya. The bodhi tree Lord Buddha sat under and became enlightened. Tsem Rinpoche
When you don\'t have sangha/centre to bless your Buddha images, here\'s how you can do it yourself- https://bit.ly/2TmtJn2
2 weeks ago
When you don't have sangha/centre to bless your Buddha images, here's how you can do it yourself- https://bit.ly/2TmtJn2
Lovely people who are so faithful and interested in Dorje Shugden when they visited us. They understand the benefits and embrace the practice. I wish them well, happiness, peace and spiritual growth. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
Lovely people who are so faithful and interested in Dorje Shugden when they visited us. They understand the benefits and embrace the practice. I wish them well, happiness, peace and spiritual growth. Tsem Rinpoche
Dear everyone, 


Plse take a peek at this one. Cute and interesting. Don\'t miss it: 




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmC4fYVePms





TR
2 weeks ago
Dear everyone, Plse take a peek at this one. Cute and interesting. Don't miss it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmC4fYVePms TR
One of my favorite sci-fi movies when growing up as a kid.  It was a B-movie, but somehow it worked & I liked it. :)
3 weeks ago
One of my favorite sci-fi movies when growing up as a kid. It was a B-movie, but somehow it worked & I liked it. :)
Doing Dharma work and a powerful motivation: https://bit.ly/2EXfeTh
3 weeks ago
Doing Dharma work and a powerful motivation: https://bit.ly/2EXfeTh
Another piece of beautiful artwork for you to enjoy-please click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 weeks ago
Another piece of beautiful artwork for you to enjoy-please click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
A beautiful Tsunami memorial in Sri Lanka. Such a placid and calm place. A must see- https://bit.ly/2QSV1Vf
3 weeks ago
A beautiful Tsunami memorial in Sri Lanka. Such a placid and calm place. A must see- https://bit.ly/2QSV1Vf
A touching and moving hug- https://bit.ly/2Q5PtBv
3 weeks ago
A touching and moving hug- https://bit.ly/2Q5PtBv
The Reputation of Brave Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin- https://bit.ly/2RhoWpr
3 weeks ago
The Reputation of Brave Venerable Geshe Tsultrim Tenzin- https://bit.ly/2RhoWpr
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche the compassionate vidyadhara and yogi. He always manifest wrathful energy on the outside, but on the inside he is filled with compassion. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche the compassionate vidyadhara and yogi. He always manifest wrathful energy on the outside, but on the inside he is filled with compassion. Tsem Rinpoche
Please see more beautiful pictures of this huge golden outdoor Tsongkapa overlooking mountain ranges Xiaqiong (Jakhyung) Monastery, Qinghai, Tibet- Click here- https://bit.ly/2GGw1Mh
3 weeks ago
Please see more beautiful pictures of this huge golden outdoor Tsongkapa overlooking mountain ranges Xiaqiong (Jakhyung) Monastery, Qinghai, Tibet- Click here- https://bit.ly/2GGw1Mh
The Magnificent Standing Dorje Shugden -

High resolution download-please click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
4 weeks ago
The Magnificent Standing Dorje Shugden - High resolution download-please click here: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The forward on the book authored by the erudite Panchen Sonam Drakpa is highly unusual but good. The background on this great master is even more interesting. Read here- https://bit.ly/2EzT5Kx
1 month ago
The forward on the book authored by the erudite Panchen Sonam Drakpa is highly unusual but good. The background on this great master is even more interesting. Read here- https://bit.ly/2EzT5Kx
Kechara Saraswati Arts (KSA) offers a comprehensive statue and tsa tsa painting service. We are able to paint both the face and body, using traditional Tibetan techniques and materials.

KSA can transform a ‘bare’ or ‘raw’ object of art into a living masterpiece through a variety of painting techniques. There are several ‘finishes’ to choose from. Be it an ‘antique’ look, a fully-painted colourful finish or a simple ‘gold dusted look’, your imagination and heart’s wishes are fulfilled through KSA’s mastery and artistry in action.

Our team have learnt the techniques of traditional statue painting from the finest artists of India, Tibet and Nepal. Through months of intense training and practice, our talented artists have mastered the art of painting both peaceful and wrathful features.
1 month ago
Kechara Saraswati Arts (KSA) offers a comprehensive statue and tsa tsa painting service. We are able to paint both the face and body, using traditional Tibetan techniques and materials. KSA can transform a ‘bare’ or ‘raw’ object of art into a living masterpiece through a variety of painting techniques. There are several ‘finishes’ to choose from. Be it an ‘antique’ look, a fully-painted colourful finish or a simple ‘gold dusted look’, your imagination and heart’s wishes are fulfilled through KSA’s mastery and artistry in action. Our team have learnt the techniques of traditional statue painting from the finest artists of India, Tibet and Nepal. Through months of intense training and practice, our talented artists have mastered the art of painting both peaceful and wrathful features.
Unusual depiction of Lord Manjushri. I like it.
1 month ago
Unusual depiction of Lord Manjushri. I like it.
Stunning!!!
1 month ago
Stunning!!!
If we have eye problems, this is a good practice and it\'s simple- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=180488
1 month ago
If we have eye problems, this is a good practice and it's simple- https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=180488
Many times in the morning my Oser girl will go sunbathe. She really enjoys it. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
Many times in the morning my Oser girl will go sunbathe. She really enjoys it. Tsem Rinpoche
My Oser girl is very photogenic. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
My Oser girl is very photogenic. Tsem Rinpoche
Vintage stunning thangka of Lord Tsongkapa with many other enlightened beings.
1 month ago
Vintage stunning thangka of Lord Tsongkapa with many other enlightened beings.
Beautiful antique thangka of Sakya Pandita
1 month ago
Beautiful antique thangka of Sakya Pandita
The last Lama-Ruler of Mongolia was 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu. He did not have a good ending as Mongolia \'fell\'. Read about him- https://bit.ly/2UD83oa
1 month ago
The last Lama-Ruler of Mongolia was 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu. He did not have a good ending as Mongolia 'fell'. Read about him- https://bit.ly/2UD83oa
Last Queen of Mongolia-Very interesting what happened to her and tragic too- https://bit.ly/2GcfhfF
1 month ago
Last Queen of Mongolia-Very interesting what happened to her and tragic too- https://bit.ly/2GcfhfF
The famous and powerful state oracle of Mongolia- Interesting and must read- 
 https://bit.ly/2Py3QhI
1 month ago
The famous and powerful state oracle of Mongolia- Interesting and must read- https://bit.ly/2Py3QhI
1984 Los Angeles-Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination. Read more-  https://bit.ly/2C5OM7l
1 month ago
1984 Los Angeles-Left to right: Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, monk assistant to Zong Rinpoche and the 18 year old Tsem Rinpoche prior to ordination. Read more- https://bit.ly/2C5OM7l
Nice to see Blog Chat going on
1 month ago
Nice to see Blog Chat going on
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    5 days ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    2 weeks ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    2 weeks ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    2 weeks ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    2 weeks ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    1 month ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    1 month ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    1 month ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    1 month ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    1 month ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    1 month ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    2 months ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    2 months ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    2 months ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia   |  黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
    2 months ago
    Wylfred explains in Chinese the benefits of mantra stones at Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia | 黄明川以华语解释在马来西亚克切拉禅修林的玛尼堆(刻有心咒的石头)的利益
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy love the verandah where they can see the greens. Tsem Rinpoche
  • If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    If there were more schools like this, then our kids would grow up with more caring awareness and kind emotions towards our environment and the people around them. They would grow up knowing that chasing materialism is not going to bring any happiness. I hope very much more schools like this would materialise. I hope in my future life I can attend a school like this. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
    2 months ago
    My Oser girl and Dharma boy in their cosy little bedroom next to me sleeping away. Cute.
  • It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    It is incredible how smart Oser girl is. She can steal the treat away from Dharma boy and so casually. Wow. She is so smart. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    Kechara Forest Retreat Dogs. Dharma boy is tiny and trying to scare off big boy Johnny. Johnny is so patient and just ignores Dharma. They are both cute and both live in Kechara Forest Retreat-Malaysia. Tsem Rinpoche
  • BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
    3 months ago
    BREAKING EYEWITNESS FOOTAGE: Workers violently punched, kicked, cussed out, & left sheep to die on dozens of Scottish farms 💔 Sheep bled after rough shearing & were stitched up without painkillers.–From Peta2
  • Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 months ago
    Super cute seal and so gentle. Must watch this video and realize we are all one. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
    3 months ago
    Legendary Heart sings “Stairway to Heaven” in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Incredible tribute and rendition. Everyone is blown away. TR
  • In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
    3 months ago
    In a low-income neighbourhood, this man is growing his own organic produce, and giving extras away for free to neighbours who can’t afford fresh ingredients from the store. Must watch!
  • Neat little video
    3 months ago
    Neat little video
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    1 years ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    1 years ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    1 years ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    1 years ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    1 years ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    1 years ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    1 years ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    1 years ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    1 years ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

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CHAT PICTURES

“Food is the only thing that I have been longing for” - a single mother of two who currently living in Kuala Lumpur city. She mentioned that getting surplus food is not a matter of ignorance but a matter of not being able to afford “fresh” food. This is because when it comes to distributing salary, there are things such as house rental and utility fees that have to come before food. With welfare reforms, benefits being cut and sanctions, this marginalised community find themselves looking for a way to get through another day. #Kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
12 hours ago
“Food is the only thing that I have been longing for” - a single mother of two who currently living in Kuala Lumpur city. She mentioned that getting surplus food is not a matter of ignorance but a matter of not being able to afford “fresh” food. This is because when it comes to distributing salary, there are things such as house rental and utility fees that have to come before food. With welfare reforms, benefits being cut and sanctions, this marginalised community find themselves looking for a way to get through another day. #Kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Big thanks to Chloe Chan, Tracy, and Mun Mun for helping to send monthly food provision to the urban poor families. With busy lives, it can be really hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you to reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. Be one of us by registering yourself at 010-3333260. ❤️ #Kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Big thanks to Chloe Chan, Tracy, and Mun Mun for helping to send monthly food provision to the urban poor families. With busy lives, it can be really hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you to reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. Be one of us by registering yourself at 010-3333260. ❤️ #Kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Young adults from Sunway College, experiencing awesome, planet saving food from Kechara Oasis, after recycling ~Wai Meng
4 days ago
Young adults from Sunway College, experiencing awesome, planet saving food from Kechara Oasis, after recycling ~Wai Meng
Andrea received Participation Awards from Pastor Gim Lee. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Andrea received Participation Awards from Pastor Gim Lee. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Julie is very patient to teach and guide the kids to do a good Nagomi Art. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Julie is very patient to teach and guide the kids to do a good Nagomi Art. Alice Tay, KSDS
The young kids of KSDS have completed and showing their artworks happily. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
The young kids of KSDS have completed and showing their artworks happily. Alice Tay, KSDS
The champers learned to clean the place in Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
The champers learned to clean the place in Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
Taking refuge to the Three Jewels and prostrate to Guru and Buddha. Alice Tay, KSDS
5 days ago
Taking refuge to the Three Jewels and prostrate to Guru and Buddha. Alice Tay, KSDS
Wonderful the children sitting in full lotus position and recite mantra together with teacher Laura. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Wonderful the children sitting in full lotus position and recite mantra together with teacher Laura. Lin Mun KSDS
DIY toy done by students. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
DIY toy done by students. Lin Mun KSDS
Children enjoyed the art & craft session during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Children enjoyed the art & craft session during dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
This morning Pastor Han Nee led the animal liberation and explained the importance of compassion to all parents & students. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
This morning Pastor Han Nee led the animal liberation and explained the importance of compassion to all parents & students. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Callista briefed children on the importance of recycling. We need to create awareness of children from young. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Callista briefed children on the importance of recycling. We need to create awareness of children from young. Lin Mun KSDS
Glad the children participated in the monthly recycle project this morning. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Glad the children participated in the monthly recycle project this morning. Lin Mun KSDS
The children blew their recited mantras to bless the birds before they are released back to their nature. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
5 days ago
The children blew their recited mantras to bless the birds before they are released back to their nature. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Dared & his family participated their 1st Kechara Ipoh animals liberation activity today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
5 days ago
Mr. Dared & his family participated their 1st Kechara Ipoh animals liberation activity today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has carried out animals liberation activity at DR Park, Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
5 days ago
KISG has carried out animals liberation activity at DR Park, Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
We had a successful session at Tesco HQ. Thank you, Tesco Staff for your generosity. With as little as RM 3, you were able to support a B40 family pay their children's schools needs. Thank you for supporting our #empowerment project! #EmpowerWomen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
We had a successful session at Tesco HQ. Thank you, Tesco Staff for your generosity. With as little as RM 3, you were able to support a B40 family pay their children's schools needs. Thank you for supporting our #empowerment project! #EmpowerWomen - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Our kitchen team helping to sort out toiletries donated by various donors. It will be given out to the street friends later #volunteerism #charity #care #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
Our kitchen team helping to sort out toiletries donated by various donors. It will be given out to the street friends later #volunteerism #charity #care #kualalumpur - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Food Surplus for the underprivileged students studying in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Melaka Kubu. Thank you our volunteers for helping today! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Food Surplus for the underprivileged students studying in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Melaka Kubu. Thank you our volunteers for helping today! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
1 week ago
Every now and then, we set up a booth to display useful preloved items for needy and underprivileged families. Kindly donate your preloved items for a good cause. Please contact us at 010-3333260 for more information. Thank you. #Kechara #preloved #charity - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Every now and then, we set up a booth to display useful preloved items for needy and underprivileged families. Kindly donate your preloved items for a good cause. Please contact us at 010-3333260 for more information. Thank you. #Kechara #preloved #charity - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
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